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the Hellfire Club - A "Floating Nightclub"
A dark coach pulled by a pair of black horses rumbles over the
cobblestones of the twilight streets of Absalom. It enters the district
called “the Docks” and proceeds at a leisurely walk to the end of a
dock marked simply #13. Drawing to a halt at the foot of the dock,
the footman drops from the rear of the coach to assist a small figure
dressed all in grey from the seat beside the driver. As the child in grey
jumps to the ground, the footman moves to open the door of the coach
and opening it he assists a young Cheliaxian woman from the interior of
the coach. Releasing the hand of the footman, she swirls the scarlet half-
cape back over a bare shoulder and turns back to the door of the coach.
Holding her hand back into the coach, she bids farewell to another passenger
there. "Good night, my lord. Yes, I assure you that this is the correct location.
Perhaps we can do business again soon. You know how to contact me
now." She withdraws her hand and steps back from the coach. The
figure in grey, little more than a street urchin in ill fitting gray livery, steps
behind the adult woman, almost the image of the perfect ladies maid.
The footman closes the door and swings back to his perch on the back
of the coach as it clatters away back in the direction of the city center.
The two figures, woman and child, glance around at the gathering
twilight and then turn in the direction of the gangplank. The woman gives
a sparkling laugh, like the splash of water, and says "And the night
is hardly started!"
Is there anyone still in the doorway?
An armored outrider, a small warrior on a large wolf, stands to the side as the coach draws to a halt and the women step down. The rider, a heavily armored halfling carrying a shield much to large for him, scans the shadows about for threats. As the women had down the gangplank, he will dismount and clank (in plate) into the club after them. A silent bodyguard, with a tower shield.
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Glancing around the dock to see if anyone else is about outside, Katisha
will call out to the Doorman who watchs the outside of the club ("fishing from the dock"). Cousin, hope your `fishing' is as
fruitful as mine!" She proceeds to the gangplank of the “barge”,
and if not joined by anyone will proceed thru the entry to the club –
commenting to her body servant "I do so hate to go clubbing without
Proceeding into the clubs’ common room, she will announce from the doorway
"A round of drinks for everyone!" (after checking exactly how many people are here)
"And Mr. Lee, a mug of mulled wine for my cousin on the deck! The night
looks to be a cool one." So saying, she glides with a dancers walk to the
table closest to the center of the room (three rounds of bardic performance, for
“The Dance of Kindled Desires” masterpiece) and makes ready to sit –
unless invited to some other table.
By all means dear lady join my little table. Mind the papers just a few briefs for the judge. If my hunch is right the evidence is purely fabricated...I should win soundly. Oh, Never mind Hell hound he only bites lawbreakers. You are good people yes?
Hell Hound? I hope it’s a riding dog! Kat’s got a great handle animal, but you know how dogs and cats get along…
A swirl of silk, a aura of spice & sandlewood perfume, and Kat slides across the club to the halflings table. “Jeeves, the chair” and the chair beside Meridoc (across from the riding dog?) slides itself back, and she is seated.
spellcraft DC: 16 to recognize an unseen servant spell in use, DC 23 will save to notice the halfling servant and bodyguard with her – StreetPerformer – Disappearing Act
“My dear man, though I have been described as ‘lawful’ more than once, I am always described as ‘good’!” a merry laugh “Yes, very good, often at being bad… depending on the client.” As the lingering performance fades away, and people might notice the two other halflings with her, she will glance their way and lean more down to Meridoc as if to confide a bit of gossip. If he can keep his eyes from distracting his ears, he hears “Things are often not exactly as they seem.”
With evan a casual oberservation, this does look like a riding dog. But Someone (perhaps Meridoc perhaps another person) has decorated it in an impressionistic way to resemble one of the denizens of the infernal realms.
Meridoc seems entranced as he leans against his close friend. "Hellhound does breathe fire" (You expect with more than a little help from a burning hands spell - fire domain) Unfortunately I can no longer demonstrate as this establishment frowns on such things. Were I not so busy with my legal proceedings, I'd open up a fine club. And make it the first law that Hellhound could breathe Fire whenever he feels like it....he seems to be overly loud with that last remark...perhaps intending it to be overhead by the passing staff.
(regarding spells and servants) Meridoc is oblivous to magical and mundane deceptions. Hellhound however is more alert. The dog snifs and grumbles should anyone come within 5' of Meridoc. You could expect he is "on guard" Meridoc makes a curious look and pats Hellhound on the head offering something tasty from his plate.
Its so nice to meet gentile members of Cheliax. I've never been there myself, but Zarta tells me such stories. I hear some of the citizens choose to spend their entire life in servitude. I must visit someday, but dear Zarta keeps me so busy.
So instead, I spend my time in Absolom or off on some merry hunt for the faction of Love. Spreading the word, worshiping the Law, apprehending foul lawbreakers, and then preparing their legal defense. It may seem a hobby, but being a public defender is just one more way to bring unbelievers over to the Truth. Sometimes they go free...and sometimes they hang. Strangely enough none of the Aspis consortium have missed the rope...It must be His grand design.
As for self descriptions, I am a recent convert to Asmodeous. Twas a few years ago when my family fell ill from a pack of thieves. Stole us blind and my parents..Meridoc sighs..gone. Then SHE came. Meridoc's eyes light up. Beautiful Zarta... Wonderful Zarta. Pulled me from the streets and set me on the path of enlightenment. Power and wealth soon followed as I grew more and more in tune to the Infernal Laws. SHE taught me in so many ways. Ahh Zarta, Meridoc pulls a flower from the table, picks off a petal as he chants each line.
"She loves me"
"She loves me more"
"She love me more than you."
Meridoc smiles and stops, realizing his manners. But pray I do prattle on and on, and your stories must be more enjoyable than mine. Tell me of fair Cheliax... Or tell me of love.. Or of Zarta! For these are so closely connected...where does one end another begin.
The world seems to fade in and out, twisted, unfamiliar at best. Echoes of his ancestors’ voices bounce into and out of reality, corporeal first, then something else.
An incognito General Ghost, Sanctified Soldier, Soul Drinker, and Sin Eater seeks sanctuary from the Chaos. (Ignoring the tenets of his Domain of Luck, he found #13, just like the Witches of Woe-Wood predicted.)
“Damn Gnomes…” (Barked at a whisper, in a tone of arduous contempt.)
His aggression displaced, now knowing that the Para-countess will never truly love him back, just like “mother” said many years ago to him as a young Hell Knight Internal Affairs officer, “Colorsprayed” by her unique talents in the bedroom. Ghost just laid eyes on a “True Rival”(25 Charisma?), but with Juliet dead to him, Romeo, would drink the poison of fate soon enough.
@ Meridoc, With Mage Hand... that flower disappers, "never" to be seen again.
"Do you have a Gardening Permit Slip?"
(Noting the General's face from the founding father's textbooks on criminal execution debate and a bust in the school dorms' Hell-Hall of Fame)
...This was the Pathfinder Lincoln, in the flesh, that freed many Halfling settlements, in his day, allegedly. No one really understood the "why?", but an invisible slap, makes the Huge man restate his words diplomatically.
"Back in the day No Dogs were allowed in this establishment (Never Once Looking at the HellHound Halloween Contestant), I was able to cast an absentee ballot, but the Oligopoly...(Freezing, then issuing a citation, with a snap of his fingers and a pointing gesture)...
(A Henchman, drops a minor fine and whispers)
"He is the Law Master-Halfling...take heed not to mention certain liasons, just anywhere, he has killed many Summoners for less."
|Pontificor the Great|
What about gnomes? You better be damning them for their awesomenesses. Cause they are awesome in more than one way. Who is Zarta?
So halflings are good at law? I thought they were good at being sneaky and stealing? I can definately see the usefullness of that, but I am better I just go invisible. Seriously why waste the effort when magic is so awesome. Does she know the paralyzing counter?
I once got one of those paper thingies. I ate it. It was not very tasty. I beat to paraylze people it would be a gnome.
Yawn so many threats and yet none have flash powder to ignite. Least I now have the paper for the loo. Thanks for the paper general, I'll generally paper the writ amongst the ... oops hellhound ate it. Guess the dog can actually eat your paperwork. Funny how that never worked in class. If you wait a few hours maybe hell hound will pay the fine. Or at least have a few pounds of writ to carry away.
The woman at the table in the center of the room smiles fit to light up the room. She calls out to the "man in half plate" -
"Lord, come rest your splendid body here at my table. Perhaps we can share a bottle of wine and pass a few minutes in conversation?" Turning aside slightly and addressing the empty air beside her she says softly, "Jeeves, pull the good knight a chair out?" the chair to her right slides out from the table turning slightly at an angle to allow someone easy access.
If the man joins her, Kat will speak more softly to him, while leaning more tword him and placeing her hand upon his forearm. "I am looking tonight for another friend of Zarta's? You would perhaps know someone by that name? Are you a friend?"
The halfling warrior shifts asside, to a position where he can better watch the room and perhaps detect anyone who might be trying to listen in on the converstion at the table.
The child, in her ill fitting gray livery, steps more to the into the womans shadow, her image of "the perfect ladies maid" slightly ruined by the small gray rag doll she holds clutched to her side.
|Pontificor the Great|
The man chuckles slightly at Pontificor's (presumably slurred) speech, and sits down with Katisha. "I've met the paracountess before, though that was originally the only name I knew her by. For some reason, she acts as though I need "enticement" to help fullfill our cause. As for friendship, I am the iconic story. A slave brought in, nearly killed my overseer, ended up joining the Hellknights."
Over wine and appetizers Kat spends a several minutes speaking of the Para countess’s last few parties and learning Ivars name. A good Sense Motive check will show that she is fishing to see that Ivar is in fact an “operative” of Zartas’ by checking to see if he has been there. That fact confirmed, with a glance to her half sized guard (who nods slightly), she moves on to her actual purpose here tonight.
With a raised hand, Kat signals for the steward. Her movements as she raises her arm reveal the lining of her black velvet cloak to be silk that appears to be on fire.
the staff here would be Stewards – as the Hellfire Club is a barge/boat/ship after all.
As the "lady" glances to him the small warrior halts his survey of the room and nods, perhaps to indicate that there no threats to her privacy present.
The “child maid” pulls the dolly (a Zon-zon doll) close to her face and whispers in its’ ear…
Jelly axes.... Oh my. Meridoc lets that one pass and tosses another turkey leg to Hellhound. A satisfying crunch of bones emenates from the side table.
My dear Lord Ivan Yager, serving at Cheliax is easy. You don't have to run the fasest, but it helps not to be the slowest. Why is why though dressed in plate I've teamed up with Hellhound here. Dear runs like the wind into or out of danger. But when the going gets tough, the tough start flying...as I fear poor Hellhound will not last in amongst the daily grind anymore. Sad really.
A score of battles we've engaged
Neither worse for wear
but now the flames grow enraged
and I alone can bear
This shiny pentacle of Law
Ringed in Ruby Light
Without a single flaw
and ever my delight.
Shine on then ruby flower
and lend to me your light.
from the Dread Lord's Bower
our enemies to ignite.
Meridoc smiles at his silver holy symbol. Ringed in flames..yet still cool to the touch.
Honors and armors will come to you in time. So long as you learn to survive. Many do not.. which is a sad affair. For the dead learn little..well most of them learn little. I did run into a rather charming ghoul who could carry a fine conversation... she did try to eat me in the process, but then again she was a ghoul.
Dinner, I dare say I've not eaten here yet. The Billing did indicate its a new establishment...hence I brought Hellhound. Such a good boy. He seems to enjoy the Turkey legs, and I dare say he is a judge of good character and food.
In regards to flight I have found a rather interesting summoning. Which draws an accuser devil for an hour. A little reduction and well.. mini me can hop on its back and fly into the fray. I know it makes poor Hellhound sad, but ever since he caught that lighting bolt... Meridoc leans closer, "he's really never walked straight since."
At this point he realizes what Katisha is talking about, and for all his earlier blustering he is absolutely terrified.
A very serious expression – one would even say business like – flashes across Katisha face. Softly she says: “Ivar – I can assure you, all things are not what they seem. I have need of someone when your special connections. There is two small matters I need to turn over to someone: Both matters of recruitment. One is something of a special ‘Order’. The other is a small matter of someone you know, and introduction you can provide.”The expression passes and Katisha’s smile return. “Perhaps a few minutes of your time? In the red velvet room?" A small pout appears on her face, and she stage whispers. "One would thing a friend of Zarta's would be used to this."
If it looks like he will follow her, Kat softly say "Jeeves - my chair" and stand as her chair slids back. She offers her arm to Ivar when he stands and guides him to the curtained booth in the back of the common room.
Ha ha ha, better you than me Ivan. Last time I went behind a velvet curtain .. shudder. Luckily I turned another spell level in the church...so a little restoration isn't too tough. A little pricey on the pocketbook though, diamond dust isn't cheap.
“Ivan, darling! There is nothing to be concerned about.” Kat stands and takes Ivan’s hand in both hers, and pulls him to his feet. “I promise that this wont hurt at all! In fact, just think of it as being invited to one of the Paracountesses’ social gatherings. Speaking of which, I overheard a very funny story that relates to her parties.
“ It seems that a team of Pathfinders, two weeks into the wilderness, were investigating an old tomb and triggered a fire trap that destroyed their clothing. As they peer thru the smoke at each other, still alive but singed, one exclaims ‘Acmed, is that you? I didn’t recognize you with your cloths on!’ To which the other agent replied ‘Ferg? Wow, you’re here too? Long time no see, how’s the family?’ We often meet friends at the most unexpected times. ”
sense motive DC15 to tell that Katisha is trying to calm Ivan. To relieve any worries.
The grey clad maid pulls Ivan chair back when he stands and Kat will walk with him to the back of the common room, where the drapes for the private booths are. The Halfling guard and the maid both follow, and pull the drapes closed after the party enters.
Once the drapes are closed, Katisha releases Ivans arm and the two small “servants” move past them to the inner booth. With a finger to her lips Katisha will silently motion for Ivan not to speak (shhh!), and wave him back to the inner booth with them, while she remains in the outer (still closed) booth, normally the servants chamber.
As Ivan looks to the small figures in the other room, he will notice a transformation of sorts. He can now see that they are both Halflings, the male of the two motioning Ivan to take a seat across the table from them. As Katisha draws the inner booths drapes closed, she remains in the outer booth.
the Halfling woman speaks:
“Please excuse the ‘cloak and dagger’ drama, but we felt it best to not meet with you openly, and to many eyes watch this place – a little bit of Cheliax in Absalom. Allow me to introduce myself. I am called Da Goblin. My companion here is Percy Footman. And we are in need of your assistance, each on different matters.
“I am in need of a contact with the Paracountess. I have letters of introduction, and orders of assignment, both of which must be delivered to her, but it appears that my contacts in town, my handlers, have “Disappeared”. In order to maintain my cover, my value to the crown, I need to make contact with the organization. I need you to connect me with the Faction”
New PC and you have the chance to help me pick a Faction for her
Here Percy begins to speak.
“Sir Ivan Yager. I wish your assistance in contacting your Order, as I feel “the call to service”. But let me start from the beginning. My family has always been one of service. For untold generations we have served the noble house De’Moor, just as I do even now. Until recently, there has always been a De’Moor carrying the family coat of arms both in the service of the crown, and in the Society. When the three elder De’Moors fell to chaos worshipers two years ago, I took up the duty until the young Master De’moor can perform it. I have passed the training to be a Pathfinder. I am almost ready to test for acceptance with a Hellknight order. And I believe it is possible for me to provide singular assistance to the forces of Law. No one would expect me to be a Hellknight. As is often said, Halflings are easily overlooked. I can go places others cannot. I see things others do not."
Yep, my little Halfling PC wants to be a Hellknight – He’s almost 5th level, which will put him 3 scenarios (or one mod) from his first Hellknight level…and I need to pick an order
[spoiler=Hidden behind velvet drapes]" He looks alarmed (Ivan hasn't played it but other guy has) Percy, I'd recommend meeting Lictor Resarc Ountar at Citadel Dinyar. (Pentamic Faith) I'm sure you know where it is. A knight there saved my life, and I've been serving them ever since. As for Da, A close friend of mine works for the Grand Lodge of Absalom, he'd be more than willing to help lend you a hand." [\spoiler]
After a few minutes discussion, Ivan leaves, mumbling something about the Blakrose Museum. When he comes back, he seems like he got up on something and is starting to crash.
A fly shaped devil is being massaged by Meridoc. Meridoc's eyes seem far away. He begins to smile. The fly disappears. Darling for a good time try the order of the Scourge. Its clearly the place to be for eradicating the lawbreakers.